|Key words:||dumplings, pirogue||Category:||Main Dishes|
Lotsa flour (usually ~8 cups)
2/3 c shortening (I gotta figger out how to reduce the fat here)
1 c milk
1/4 powdered sugar
1 or more pkg (3+ Tbsp) yeast
~1 tsp salt
1 yellow onion depending on filling
au jus mix depending on filling
barbeque sauce depending on filling
garlic depending on filling
red peppers, dried tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes depending on filling
Ground Cow (~1.5 lb)
Cooked/Smoked Ham (1-2 lb)
Mushroom (~1l b)
|Preparation:||1. Preheat oven to ~350F.
2. Grease, or spray, or otherwise make your baking trays non-sticky.
3. Put ~1/4 c warm (~110F water), a handful of sugar, and a handful of yeast into the large mixing bowl. It's really neat if you can preheat the bowl, too. Stir and watch for a few minutes to make sure the yeast is softening and starting to spawn.
4. Mix shortening, sugar, and milk in something, and scald the mixture. About 2 minutes in a 750 W microwave does this fairly well. The shortening should just be melting.
5. Make sure the scalded milk mixture is not too hot. If you don't want to stick your bare finger to the bottom of the mixture and hold it three seconds, it's still too hot.
6. Just before the mixture gets as cool as needed for #5, whip up the eggs and stir them into the milk goo.
7. Stir the milk/egg goo into the yeast/water goo in the big bowl.
8. Add a few cups of flour and toss in a pinch or two of salt. Stir it around until the flour is all wet and you have a pancake-like batter (or pasty mess).
9. Repeat step 8. Your mixture should be deceptively dough-like at this point (or a pasty mess).
10. Add some more flour. By now you should have to be mixing by hand. Your mixture should be firm but pliable, moist but not wet. You should be able to massage it in your hands without having it stick to you.
11. Knead this dough until your fingers get tired. It should be starting to feel like it's actually getting tougher. Take the bowl in the living room, put it between your legs and watch TV while you go into round two. Think of your least favorite person and knead some more, this time using your arms and shoulders instead of just your fingers and wrists. After about ten minutes, you will win the gluten war; it will be obvious because the dough relaxes and you can feel it get easy to knead.
12. Cover dough with towel, or paper towel, and put in warm place to rise.
13. Choose and prepare a filling.
You can use virtually *anything* for a filling. The trick is to be moist but not wet (or it soaks through), and not dry (or you need a good sherry when you serve.) Here are some I've tried:
Cheese (ultra-easy) filling:
Cut a hunk of cheddar cheese into 1/2-3/4" cubes and set aside. Alternatively use a good cheese. You want about a handful per unit of dough. I personally like mixtures. YMMV.
Ground Cow (very easy) filling:
Brown together ~1.5 lb ground beef and a yellow onion. Drain off the grease. Stir in a package of au jus mix. Set aside to cool.
Ham (unbelievably easy) filling:
Cube a pound or two of cooked or smoked ham and mix with barbeque sauce. Make sure the sauce just covers the ham, rather than the pig swimming in the sauce.
Mushroom (easy) filling:
Cut up a pound or so of 'shrooms and saute them together with a chopped onion. If you like beast, add some of your favorite meat/poultry and cook with this mixture until the flavors mix well. You can even add garlic here and get away with it. If you like vegetables, red peppers and dried tomatoes and cabbage and potatoes all work well. Again, cook them enough so they don't unduly crunch when you eat the final product.
Fruit (easy) filling:
Make your favorite fruit compote and set aside to cool. Remember that the mixture must be fairly firm or it will be hard to wrap it up when you build
(You get the idea)
14. After a couple of hours, the dough should have risen to ~twice its original volume. Dig it out of wherever it is.
15. Pinch off a good-sized handful of dough. Roll it out as thin as you can make it. Slice it into squares about 3" or so on a side.
16. Place a square on the palm of one hand. Cup your hand so the corners come up.
17. Put some filling in. Pinch off the top. Place on cooking tray, preferably seam side down (looks better when baked).
18. Repeat 15, 16, & 17 until you give up, or are out of filling, or are out of pans, or are out of dough.
19. Cover the trays and let the rolls raise again.
20. Bake in ~350 F oven until golden brown. 20 minutes or so works in my oven.
This recipe usually serves six with biker appetites.
|Notes:||Pirosh is a Russian word that applies more or less generically to foods that are "something" stuffed in some kind of flour goop. Piroshki, piroghie, etc are plural, or diminuitive, or ... (most of this history comes from cook books I borrowed from the Fryer hisself.)
These are great for making ahead of time and packing for trips. They are slightly-larger-than-fist-sized buns, stuffed with good stuff. Kind of like WetLeather baked hombau.
|Equipment:||Very large mixing bowl|